It’s kind of like that, year two.
It’s weedy. Last week was insurmountably hot. I am still halfheartedly irrigating due to lack of electricity. The tomatoes are finally turning their appropriate colors. People are digging our sweet, sweet sungolds and the Borough of Northampton is all about lemon cucumbers. Oh, did I mention I picked up another market?
Okay, let’s try this again.
The Philly market is shaky right now. My partner orchard bailed so it’s just going to be me hanging out with you Philly folks, so get your friends to come buy some stuff. We may be moving over toward Front and Carpenter, I’ll keep you posted. And this week I just picked up a market on Tuesday nights in the Borough of Northampton, right on Main Street in front of the Roxy Theatre (for all you hometown folks). So come visit there, too. Or Health Habits! There’s always a couple items there, and I’m finally getting into the swing of adding recipes to products.
Weeds. They are everywhere and growing so fast. Ragweed has overtaken the world. It is a pain to pull and is, in some places, taller than me. Quickweed is overshadowing most of the greens (though the lettuce is so better it’s all a lost cause here anyway).
I have had some amazing friends and family help carry me through this month. Folks checking in, cooking meals and experimenting with vegetables, helping weed while they’re on vacation. You are all so amazing, and I’m so grateful to have you in my life. And for those choice folks (read: uncles who are putting off their vacations because they don’t want to get tricked into doing farm work while they’re here – looking at you, DAVE), you’ll be sad you missed the vegetables.
Lauren made us some amazing pizza two weekends ago. I want to include her master recipes here along with the beautiful shots of her.
CROOKED ROW PIZZA!
By Warrior-Librarian and Farm Friend Lauren Balliet
Makes two thin crusts or 1 thick
1 ½ C white flour
1 ½ C whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 packet yeast
1 C water or leftover whey
1 tbsp sugar or honey
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and add the water and oil. Stir in bowl until it begins forming a soft dough – don’t be afraid to add more water/whey to get it to the right consistency. Knead 10 minutes on a lightly-floured countertop and let is rise for an hour or until doubled in size. If you’re in a rush, you can skip the rise- with it just won’t develop as much yeasty flavor.
Preheat the oven to 425. Baking stone or 10” cast-iron skillet inside. Roll out dough and have your toppings read. Remove your stone/skillet. Transfer dough and top as desired and pop back in the oven for 10-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly-browned and edges of dough are crisp.
Use any combination of the following for some amazing pizza toppings. Conveniently, all of these ingredients are available at Crooked Row Farm!
-Sliced Patty Pan or Yellow Crookneck Squash (the Patty Pan is a bit sweeter roasted on top)
-Chopped kale, spinach, arugula or chard (red dandelion or endive will work if you are also using tomato sauce to cut its bitter taste)
-Halved Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
-Basil, Parsley or other tasty herbs
-Chopped and roasted garlic or scapes
1 gallon whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized – look for a local brand if possible)
¾ C distilled vinegar
Combine liquids in large pot on the stove and heat on medium, stirring gently a few times until it’s just about to boil. Take off heat and let sit for 20 minutes. You should have a raft of curds sitting on top of why. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, gently transfer curds to a colander lines with cheesecloth (or an old pillowcase or cotton t-shirt). Let drain 5-30 minutes, depending how thick you want your ricotta. 10 works well. Transfer to bowl and stir in salt to taste.
Use your leftover acid whey…
-In place of water or milk in bread, pizza dough and other savory baked good to add extra protein and make them chewy.
-To boil your pasta
-As a stock for soup
-To water your acid-loving plants like blueberries and hydrangeas (but dilute it first!)
So hey, there we go. I love you, I love vegetables, and hopefully when things slow down I can be more attentive to both. Until then, keep checking in. At the very least I’ll try to post lots of happy vegetable photos and recipes.
You are so lucky to have an uncle who will put his vacation off so he can spend more time with you when your work is slow. I think you should cook him a pizza.